Thursday, January 19, 2017

Michael Specter article from New Yorker

Here is a New Yorker magazine article written by Michael Specter, who has written a number of scientifically oriented articles for the lay audience, including this one about Lyme disease. This article focuses on whether gene editing technologies might be used to tackle the problem of Lyme disease.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Lyme disease in Pennsylvania

I grew up in Pennsylvania and believe it was there that I was first infected with Lyme, back in the summer of 1970. I was almost constantly in the woods because I had a summer job as a land surveyor's assistant. 

Pennsylvania Lyme disease: An interview with Dr Amesh Adalja

Senior Associate at the UPMC Center for Health Security, Amesh Adalja, MD 

Monday, January 16, 2017

A new book on Lyme. "Lyme Madness"

Statement by the author:

I'd like to let everyone know that I have recently published my book LYME MADNESS. It was named the #1 NEW RELEASE in Immune System health on Amazon. 

Lyme Madness chronicles my adult son's illness and all that we've learned along the way in this mad, mad world of Lyme, including trying to make sense of the ugly and corrupt medical politics. It is also a platform for the stories of many -- for those who have been forced to suffer in silence for years, even decades. 



Gut microbes promote motor deficits in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease

Yet another article about the connection between the gut and Parkinson's disease. This is a study of mice who were genetically predisposed to Parkinson's disease and the effective antibiotics that seems to be protective against developing Parkinson's symptoms.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Gut Discoveries (or old ones rediscovered)

Gut Decision: Scientists Identify New Organ in Humans

A mighty membrane that twists and turns through the gut is starting the new year with a new classification: the structure, called the mesentery, has been upgraded to an organ.

Scientists have known about the structure, which connects a person's small and large intestines to the abdominal wall and anchors them in place, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, until now, it was thought of as a number of distinct membranes by most scientists. Interestingly, in one of its earliest descriptions, none other than Leonardo da Vinci identified the membranes as a single structure, according to a recent review.

In the review, lead author Dr. Calvin Coffey, a professor of surgery at the University of Limerick's Graduate Entry Medical School in Ireland, and colleagues looked at past studies and literature on the mesentery. Coffey noted that throughout the 20th century, anatomy books have described the mesentery as a series of fragmented membranes; in other words, different mesenteries were associated with different parts of the intestines. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Cures Act passes!

The Lyme bill (Cures Act) passed through the House (344-77 vote), passed thru the Senate (94-5 vote), and on 12/13/16 the bill was signed by President Obama.  

To keep up with Lyme related legislation you can visit:



or this Lyme Legislation website:

Friday, December 9, 2016

Lyme Vaccine trials to begin

Valneva Receives FDA and European Approvals to Start Clinical Testing of Lyme Disease Vaccine Candidate

Lyon (France), December 9, 2016 - Valneva SE ("Valneva" or "the Company"), a fully integrated, commercial stage biotech company focused on developing innovative life-saving vaccines, today announced that its vaccine candidate VLA15 against Lyme disease is now progressing into clinical testing (Phase I) following the Investigational New Drug application (IND) clearance from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the approval of the Clinical Trial Application (CTA) in Europe (Belgium).

Currently, there is no licensed vaccine available to protect humans against Lyme disease, a multi systemic tick-transmitted infection that can cause serious health problems and disabilities. Each year, an estimated 300,000 Americans and 85,000 Europeans develop Lyme disease and according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), it is the fastest growing vector-borne infectious disease in the United States.

Read the rest of the story:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How much does Lyme disease cost the United States?

Clin Ther. 1998 Sep-Oct;20(5):993-1008; discussion 992.

A cost-of-illness study of Lyme disease in the United States.

Maes E1Lecomte PRay N.

Author information

Erratum in

Clin Ther 1999 Feb;21(2):430.


Lyme disease produces a diverse clinical picture that can include serious and potentially debilitating cardiac, neurologic, joint, and skin involvement. It is characterized in three stages--early localized (stage I), early disseminated (stage II), and late disseminated (stage III)--and medical management is highly dependent on the stage at which the patient presents and the physician's awareness of available treatment options. This study was conducted to establish the medical and economic burden of Lyme disease in the overall US population, which included determining its endemicity in high-risk states and counties, describing current treatment patterns, measuring direct and indirect costs, and defining the cost burden by age group (<18 years and > or =18 years of age). Medical, epidemiologic, and economic data were collected, and an algorithm was developed representing the natural course of Lyme disease and the progress of health states over time following medical intervention. Using an annual mean incidence of 4.73 cases of Lyme disease per 100,000 population in the decision analysis model yielded an expected national expenditure of $2.5 billion (1996 dollars) over 5 years for therapeutic interventions to prevent 55,626 cases of Lyme disease sequelae. This estimate included both direct medical and indirect costs. However, there is evidence of considerable variation in incidence within states. Our findings support development of vaccination strategies for specific target groups.


I found some additional data from the study…these costs were based on 1996 values

The treatment costs for early disseminated disease accounted for 36% of the total direct costs and 64% spent of antibiotic treatments as well as treatment of side effects.


With the costs of late disseminated disease, the values were reversed, 

roughly 2/3rds spent on treatment of the manifestations.


Early disseminated disease cost from: 

$731/per patient/per year for arthritis to 

$3,445/patient/year for cardiac sequelae


Costs for late disseminated:

Musculoskeletal complications $2740/patient/year and 

cardiac complications came to $8270/patient/year 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Probiotics- Brands Recommended?

Here's part of a thread among doctors about their use of probiotics. Favorite brands, etc. Read from bottom up. 


The Bacillus Subtilis Story:




"For many years afterwards, cultures of Bacillus subtilis were sold worldwide as a medicinal product (sold in the U.S. and Mexico, for example, under the brand name Bacti-Subtil) rapidly becoming the world's leading treatment for dysentery and other intestinal problems. Unfortunately for Americans, this popular bacterial supplement that cures intestinal infections began losing favor in the late 1950's and 1960's, upon the advent of synthetic antibiotics which were heavily touted by the giant pharmaceutical companies as "wonder drugs," even though they cost five times as much as Bacti-Subtil, and took three times longer to accomplish the same results."


Read more:


Probiotic containing Bacillus subtilis: Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Cosortia



Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2016 1:20:08 AM
Subject: Probiotics- Brands Recommended?

Thought a good conversation on probiotics would be helpful since there are so many on the market today and so many opinions about them.  Do you have a preference and why or why not?